Updated: Mar 30
She Said is an incredible piece of investigative journalism by New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Kantor and Twohey broke the news on Harvey Weinstein's horrific abuse of power and sexual assaults against the women he worked with and were the catalyst for the #MeToo movement. Focusing on the imbalance between powerful and wealthy men and their female subordinates, the journalists take a raw look at the hidden abuse and questioning of victims that has been happening for years. The title, She Said, is both a play on the phrase, "He said, she said," which seems to be what many of these types of accusations come down to. She said, "he did XYZ," but he said, "I never did XYZ." History has shown that if a woman comes forward and accuses a man of sexually assaulting her and he denies it, almost always his side is taken and her character and intentions are questioned.
In addition, She Said covers an in depth look at Dr. Christine Basley Ford and her heroic testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The work that Kantor and Twohey invested in this investigation is incredible and invaluable to the progress women are making in equality, victim shaming, and overall not putting up with this kind of abuse from men. It is a kick ass read and is incredibly inspiring listening to the women who were strong enough to come forward and share their stories. These women are the true heroes of the story. They suffered horrible abuse and manipulation, only to be made felt like they had to hide it and silence their voice. Now they are able to get some justice and find support in other women who knows what it is like to be in their shoes.
As a woman, and a woman who has been assaulted, this book hit me to the core. Kantor and Twohey do an amazing job documenting their investigation in a way that is not emotionally draining or triggering. They are sensitive towards the victims and the content and handled themselves with the utmost grace. She Said read like a true crime novel, less like a textbook. It is methodical, thorough, and insightful. Kantor and Twohey went above and beyond fact checking every piece of evidence they obtained. As an investigator by trade, I respected how they handled their witness interviews and how thoroughly they fact checked each allegation. Instead of solely relying on witness statements, knowing they would be questioned (i.e. "He said, She said" scenarios,) they vetted each and every source and cross checked documentation and corroborating witnesses to support the witness statements.
The tenacity and patience these journalists exhibited is surreal and a true testament to their journalistic skills. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are now part of American Women's history. The odds were against them getting this article to publish. They battled a powerful and wealthy man, who threw obstacles in their way, but they came out on the other side, highly holding the pillar of truth. Kantor and Twohey are a true testament to women's rights and the work they invested in the Harvey Weinstein Times article and the book, She Said, will be read and dissected for years to come. I gave She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey a solid ★★★★★ review and highly recommend that everyone should read this. The research is eye opening and life changing. If you are able to read this book and take away one thing, it is that we all deserve to be treated with respect and given the benefit of the doubt. The #MeToo movement has been powerful in shifting the pendulum with sexual assault victims, but they way we treat each other is how we can continue to be better as individuals and as people.